One way that I find new studies which are aimed at curing type-1 diabetes, is by searching the FDA's Clinical Trial Registry. (Luckily for me, this site even works during a partial government shutdown.) In this posting, I'm going to summarize all of the type-1 studies I found which were first registered from Oct-1 to Dec-31, 2018 and which either were recruiting patients, or had been. (I'm specifically excluding studies which were registered, but which had not yet started recruiting.)
Out of the 41 studies which started during this time, only three (7%) were focused on curing T1D. However, I'm summarizing all of them here, to give everyone a feel for all the types of type-1 diabetes research underway, and because some people might be interested in some of the non-cure research.
I divided these studies into 6 broad categories:
1. Treatment (16 Studies)
This section included psychological techniques to improve BG numbers, technology such as apps, training to recover low BG awareness, non-insulin drugs to treat or prevent lows, etc.
2. Technology (10 Studies)
These studies were mostly aimed at closed loops, but also other forms of technology, such as meters. The most interesting (which I will not be covering) is a triple hormone artificial pancreas: researchers at McGill University are testing an artificial pancreas which doses Insulin, Pramlintide, and Glucagon. They hope it will remove the need for carb counting.
3. Diet (4 Studies)
Two low carb studies, one on something about buckwheat, and I can't remember the fourth.
4. New Insulin (8 Studies)
I'm not particularly interested in new types of insulin, and most of these were standard "we hope it is a little better, and a little more expensive, than you get now" type insulin. However, two of these studies were looking at a weekly use insulin. Called "Insulin 287", it is a background insulin, similar to Lantus, Levemir, or Tresiba, but designed to be taken once a week.
5. Basic Science (1 Study)
Basic science studies are usually done on animals or in petri dishes, however there is one being started on people. It is studying TMEM219 also called "TMEM219 death factor" and "Transmembrane Protein 219". This protein is clearly involved in the death of beta cells, and is sensitive to insulin-related proteins. There is hope that it is part of the process that kills beta cells to start type-1 diabetes, and therefore if we learn more about it, we can prevent type-1.
6. Cure Focused Research (3 Studies)
Finally, there were three studies which were focused on a cure. I plan to blog on each one of these separately in the coming weeks, as they are all interesting and worth an individual blog:
MER3101 (an adjuvanated Insulin B Chain vaccine)
AG019 and Teplizumab (a mash-up of Proinsulin, IL-10, a monoclonal antibody, and bioengineering)
GABA (a dietary supplement)
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All the views expressed here are those of Joshua Levy, and nothing here is official JDRF, JDCA, or Bigfoot Biomedical news, views, policies or opinions. In my day job, I work in software for Bigfoot Biomedical. My daughter has type-1 diabetes and participates in clinical trials, which might be discussed here. My blog contains a more complete non-conflict of interest statement. Thanks to everyone who helps with the blog.